What is Speckled Computing?

Speckled Computing offers a radically new concept in information technology that has the potential to revolutionise the way we communicate and exchange information.

selection of video clips demonstrating Speckled technology

Specks will be minute (around 1 mm3) semi
conductor grains that can sense and compute locally and communicate wirelessly. Each speck will be autonomous, with its own captive, renewable energy source. Thousands of specks, scattered or sprayed on the person or surfaces, will collaborate as programmable computational networks called Specknets.

Computing with Specknets will enable linkages between the material and digital worlds with a finer degree of spatial and temporal resolution than hitherto possible; this will be both fundamental and enabling to the goal of truly ubiquitous computing.

Speckled Computing is the culmination of a greater trend. As the once-separate worlds of computing and wireless communications collide, a new class of information appliances will emerge. Where once they stood proud – the PDA bulging in the pocket, or the mobile phone nestling in one’s palm, the post-modern equivalent might not be explicit after all. Rather, data sensing and information processing capabilities will fragment and disappear into everyday objects and the living environment. At present there are sharp dislocations in information processing capability – the computer on a desk, the PDA/laptop, mobile phone, smart cards and smart appliances. In our vision of Speckled Computing, the sensing and processing of information will be highly diffused – the person, the artefacts and the surrounding space, become, at the same time, computational resources and interfaces to those resources. Surfaces, walls, floors, ceilings, articles, and clothes, when sprayed with specks (or “speckled”), will be invested with a “computational aura” and sensitised post hoc as props for rich interactions with the computational resources.